Monday, April 23
Why on earth would a fast food restaurant have a conference about leadership? How could that possibly make marketing sense?
Well if you look at how the founders of Chick-fil-A have defined their brand, it makes complete sense. And truthfully, whether you agree with the brand or not, we have to recognize the incredible consistency with which the Chick-fil-A brand sticks to its identity ... and makes business decisions, like staying closed on Sundays, in direct compliance with the brand's mission and values.
The latest activity to my eye from Chick-fil-A is the brand's Leadercast ... a live and virtual conference about "leadership" ... specifically the brand's view on leadership ... featuring some pretty big heavy weights like Soledad O'Brien and Tim Tebow. I found out about the conference on a cup of low-calorie lemonade (great touchpoint and delicious btw) when I was there for lunch, but it's also been highly publicized in the restaurants and online.
The Leadercast is elaborately planned with a major live event in Atlanta (city of the company headquarters) as well as local events all around the country. If you consider yourself a "leader," then you can also publicly or privately host an event in your town where you can live stream what's happening in Atlanta. Perfectly constructed to build a network of fellow leaders who embody the brand's values and spread its key messages.
This conference is not a one-off by any means. Aside from being an annual event, the Leadercast is one of many initiatives created by the brand to teach their values and create a network of brand advocates. We have to acknowledge the seamless integration of online, social media, and retail marketing that all work to build a consistent brand experience. Textbook marketing, tied directly to very specific core values as defined by the brand.
From a marketing perspective, it's pretty amazing to see the construct. Oh, and by the way, the food's pretty good too. Just ask the cows.
What's your experience? Jim.
President, Cohn & Wolfe North America
Author, The Experience Effect and The Experience Effect for Small Business
PS - I'm conducting my own little "cast" of sorts: Small Business Bootcamp this Wednesday with Vocus. In one hour, we'll break down big brand theory within a small business marketing context. Register here for free if you'd like to join.